"On the mat": an exploration of the impact of new entrant children's classroom and home experiences on their understandings of what counts as reading
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study explores the ways that the classroom and home experiences of two New Entrant children contributed to their understandings of what counts as reading. Multiple method data collection included continuous recordings of classroom reading activities over a 16-week period and interviews undertaken over a 13-month period. Microanalysis of classroom events provided accounts of the children's engagement with reading tasks during reading instruction, which were then explored in relation to the ways the two children discussed reading during interviews. Findings revealed that children take on multiple roles during classroom activities which impact on their participation in reading tasks. The significance of the social aspects of learning to read is also highlighted. It was revealed that what children actually learned and the types of reading responses they made during class activities were only rarely visible or audible to their teacher. The children's management of their learning environment meant that many reading opportunities were used in different ways from those intended by the teacher, and that learning was often only indirectly related to teaching. The implication for teachers is the need to consider how little of children's learning experiences are audible or visible to them, so that they can develop strategies to provide appropriate reading instruction and adequate reading experiences. The study also revealed the critical role that "homework" (reading at home) plays in ensuring sufficient reading practice for emergent and early readers.